Artistic Director

Dianna Nixon

Renowned musical director and producer Dianna Nixon is the new CCS Artistic Director from 2017.

Nixon brings to the role experience as a pianist, singer, actor, director and animateur who has worked with choirs in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and the ACT, as well as with major festivals, touring shows and companies large and small.

Dianna has worked for many of the arts organisations in the ACT, and in particular has a long association with The Street Theatre. In 2016, her company Wild Voices Music Theatre created and presented Wild Shakespeare at the National Zoo and Aquarium for the Enlighten Festival, and with The Girls she performed in The Famous Spiegeltent.

She prepared one of the two local children’s choirs for Opera Australia’s production of The Marriage of Figaro in The Canberra Theatre.  Dianna directed The Sonnets Out Loud (in a special one-off event produced by The Street Theatre).

“With Canberra Choral Society, I will delve deeply into the rich choral canon with a particular focus on vocal production, on deep understanding of text and its relationship to the musical setting, and on further developing the choir’s stagecraft”, Dianna said. “I am very excited at the prospect of working with a large choral ensemble with such a legacy.”

CCS President Brenda Gill said “Dianna’s unique blend of vocal expertise and cross-genre musical experience makes her a perfect choice as the new Artistic Director of CCS”. “I am immensely pleased to welcome her, and look forward to seeing CCS develop further under the leadership of this talented artist.”

Nixon replaces Tobias Cole who leaves CCS to pursue the development of his new opera company Handel in the Theatre after six years of happy collaboration that has seen the choir take on new repertoire and new challenges – such as performing as an opera chorus in this year’s production of The Vow – and spreading its wings into new performance opportunities like the Parliament House Mid Winter Ball.

A vibrant program for 2017 is planned, including a twilight Autumn concert at the National Arboretum, a concert featuring the work of Carl Vine in collaboration with the National Capital Orchestra, a “Last Night at the Proms” celebration at Albert Hall, and Handel’s Messiah.

Previous CCS artistic/musical directors

  • Tobias Cole, 2011-2016
  • Dr Peter Pocock, 2005-2010
  • Judith Clingan, 2004-2005
  • John Gilbert (Acting), Sept 2003-Dec 2003
  • Thomas Burge, Jan 2002-Sept 2003
  • Christoph Moor, July 2001-Oct 2001
  • Piroska Varga, Jan 2000-June 2001
  • Robyn Holmes, 1993-1999
  • Christopher Lyndon-Gee, 1989-1993
  • Hans Gunter Mommer, 1985-1989
  • Donald Hollier, 1977-1985
  • Ayis Ioannides, 1971-1976
  • Wilfred Holland, 1962-1971
  • Jane Malone, 1958-1961
  • Ronald Penny, 1952-1957